Claudia McLarty passed away in the early hours of August 16, 2021, after a short illness of acute leukemia. She was born in St. Paul. MN to Charles and Wilma Shutz.
Her family lived in Evansville, IN, Glenview, IL in a home designed by her father and in Deerfield, IL. They moved to Scottsdale, AZ in 1963 where she attended and graduated from Scottsdale High School. She worked at various jobs while attending Mesa Community College as well as Air Research..
Claudia and Alan were married on December 22, 1975 in Phoenix and lived in Tempe, AZ, and their first son, Mark was born in 1983. Active in First Tempe UCC Church, she began creating banners for churches. Alan was called to a position in the Ohio Conference, and we moved to Tiffin, Ohio. David was born there in 1987. A transition in ministry meant a move to Columbus, OH in 1989. Claudia was a receptionist and secretary for the Ohio Conference and later was the Central Southeast Ohio Association’s administrative assistant.
Claudia started a company “Liturgical Arts” to resume her early work in church banners. She designed types of various fabric arts which included banners, paraments, and stoles. A highpoint in her creative work was a commission by the Ohio Conference UCC to design a banner for an Annual Conference. The very large banner was centered by a 30-foot diameter circle depicting a logo containing the four educational themes of a national Christian Education initiative. In 2000, the national UCC relocated its offices to Cleveland, OH, Claudia was commissioned to create the stoles for the five national officers of the denomination which were presented at their installation. Many ministers and churches used her stoles and paraments over the years.
Claudia enjoyed traveling many places though the ocean and beaches were special place. Her family spent many vacations on the beaches in Inverness, CA, Outer Banks, N. Carolina, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlán, Mexico and especially in Carmel, CA. Claudia was great at finding shells and driftwood which we have abundance. She was fascinated with the many sea creatures in the tide pools and enjoyed pointing them out to the boys. She went with Alan to Mexico to learn Spanish. One of her teaches said that having taught hundreds of Americans speak Spanish, she could count only five who could speak it without an accent. She said that Claudia was one of the five. “Claudia, tu es una Mexicana!” she would exclaim during our lessons.
Claudia was an avid antique hunter; scarcely an antique store could be passed by. Her special interest was antique spoons as well as decorative spoons. We have no idea how many spoons are on the display cases and in boxes. Native America weaving and pottery were a source of beauty and joy. Claudia was an excellent seamstress. She made clothing, useful household items and our drapes. She played the violin and was excited when Sydney chose the violin for her instrument for school.
From her father, she looked at houses with an architectural eye. We drove through many neighborhoods just to see the style of the homes; she really enjoyed seeing the houses in older neighborhoods
Claudia had robust strength and resiliency lived in so many ways. Her strength enabled her to survive numerous illness and mobility challenges with grace and even humor. Discouraged? At times, nevertheless, her inner determination overcame dark moments and big challenges.
Along with Alan, her sons, David and Mark, were and are the lights of her life. She was proud of their individual achievements and their families. She adored each of her grandchildren. She is survived by her husband, Alan; son, Mark and his wife, Melissa Genard, and their children, Sydney, Isabelle, Connor, and Samuel; son, David, and his children, Madi, Maddox and Macy; and beloved sister, Judy Gillham of Whittier, California. She was preceded in death by her granddaughter, Brooke, who was the daughter of Mark and Melissa.
A memorial will be held September 4, 2021, at Plymouth UCC Church, Ft. Collins. In place of flowers, please give to the Memorial Fund at Plymouth UCC.
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